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Old 04-01-2017, 01:19 AM   #1
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benefits of canister filters

i've never used a canister filter and i've been wondering for a while what the real difference is. how do they work? do they make noise? how difficult is it to clean them?

i honestly have no idea anything about canister filters and i'd really like someone to help educate me about them.
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:40 AM   #2
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Hi, for me the biggest benefit is the amount of media you can get in them compared to internal filters. Generally they are easier to clean and when you disconect and take it away you don't get any of that residual gunk flowing out of the filter into the tank. It's 1 less item in the tank or more if you use an inline heater. I really don't see any disadvantages compared to an internal filter. Do your research before buying though. Prices range considerably and in some cases you do get what you pay for, especially when it comes to noise and reliability.
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:18 AM   #3
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Hi, for me the biggest benefit is the amount of media you can get in them compared to internal filters. Generally they are easier to clean and when you disconect and take it away you don't get any of that residual gunk flowing out of the filter into the tank. It's 1 less item in the tank or more if you use an inline heater. I really don't see any disadvantages compared to an internal filter. Do your research before buying though. Prices range considerably and in some cases you do get what you pay for, especially when it comes to noise and reliability.


i'm mostly curious because i recently got a turtle clean brand canister filter on craigslist, i was getting a handful of fish things including a whisper 60 which is one step larger than my current filter for my fish tank, and the woman said she'd give me the turtle filter for $20. so i said yes, it's dirty but otherwise looks like it's in decent condition. the normal retail price is between $65 and $95, which seems to be rather cheap for canister filters, but then again this one is for turtles so maybe that's the difference. i'm just curious to know how it works and if it's worth trying out and switching over from my internal filter (which seems to make quite a bit of noise lately)
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Old 04-01-2017, 02:45 AM   #4
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Sorry, I have no experience with that make or brand
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Old 04-01-2017, 05:56 AM   #5
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I would run both filters, over filtration is not a bad thing. What type of filter do you have?
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Old 04-01-2017, 01:07 PM   #6
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I would run both filters, over filtration is not a bad thing. What type of filter do you have?


my internal filter is a whisper 20i and it keeps the tank very clean. i don't think i need to run both because overall, his tank is pretty clean and i gravel vac it at least twice a month, usually more. i try to do it every week.
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Old 04-01-2017, 07:29 PM   #7
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I like canisters because they're quieter and stay out sight better.

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Old 04-02-2017, 08:57 AM   #8
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I had been running a whisper internal filter which made quite a bit of noise and the filters had to be changed every so often which for me at least always caused mini cycles and i lost fish.

Ive been running a canister filter for about 3 years and I will never go back to those internal filters. The canisters are virtually silent unless you're standing right next to them, you don't have to look at them in your tank, and the best part is once your bio system is set up you don't ever have to change the media. You only rinse it every 6 months to a year with tank water when you do a pwc to clean out the accumulated gunk. I have been slacking lately and it's been quite a while since I've rinsed mine and I never have ammonia spikes or nitrite spikes [once the bio gets set up]

Look up some videos on YouTube on how quiet they can be. I have an eheim 2217 and 2211 which are fairly expensive but **** I love them. I bought mine from bigalsonline.com

The only downfall I think I've come in contact with is the amount of water that comes out of the return tends to push my sand and rock media around and when the power goes out it can be kind of a pain to get the water flowing again because it's mostly a gravity fed system, which is why they're so quiet lol

What kind of tank/fish do you have?
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Old 04-02-2017, 06:39 PM   #9
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I had been running a whisper internal filter which made quite a bit of noise and the filters had to be changed every so often which for me at least always caused mini cycles and i lost fish.

Ive been running a canister filter for about 3 years and I will never go back to those internal filters. The canisters are virtually silent unless you're standing right next to them, you don't have to look at them in your tank, and the best part is once your bio system is set up you don't ever have to change the media. You only rinse it every 6 months to a year with tank water when you do a pwc to clean out the accumulated gunk. I have been slacking lately and it's been quite a while since I've rinsed mine and I never have ammonia spikes or nitrite spikes [once the bio gets set up]

Look up some videos on YouTube on how quiet they can be. I have an eheim 2217 and 2211 which are fairly expensive but **** I love them. I bought mine from bigalsonline.com

The only downfall I think I've come in contact with is the amount of water that comes out of the return tends to push my sand and rock media around and when the power goes out it can be kind of a pain to get the water flowing again because it's mostly a gravity fed system, which is why they're so quiet lol

What kind of tank/fish do you have?


actually for this tank specifically, it's for a turtle. i just happen to have a turtleclean canister filter and i was considering replacing the internal filter with it because it makes so much noise. although if that one works out, i may end up getting a canister filter for my 40 gallon freshwater tropical tank (right now mostly guppies and glass catfish, along with an african feather finned cat and a really little black ghost knife fish).

i work at a pet store and people always ask me what the difference is between canisters and other filters and i pretty much have no clue. not a great selling point when i can't really tell them WHY the thing is 10x more expensive.

thank you for your input though! i appreciate it
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